BA To Miss 2008/9 Financial Goals

British Airways says it will miss its full-year financial targets, due to a significant reduction in the demand for premium class travel.
The airline expects to suffer an operating loss of £150m (US$223m) for 2008/9 – up to £25m (US$37m) more than it first thought, and it will also be hit by a further £75m (US$112m) in severance costs.
BA said it carried 2.61 million passengers with an average load factor of 72.7% in March 2009, down 8.2% and 79.1% respectively from March 2008.
A company statement said: “Market conditions remain challenging, with both volume and yield under pressure.”
Premium traveller numbers, those flying first or business class, was down 13% during the month, while economy passenger figures fell by 6%.
If viewed on a regional basis, the biggest fall in traffic was suffered in the Asia Pacific region – down almost 12% – Africa and the Middle East suffered least, down by only 0.7%.
The airline also stated that the UK’s unusually high snowfalls in February had severely restricted its operations for several days and the disruption cost the airline in the region of £20m (US$30m).